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CALS is a paralegal school that has specialized exclusively in the education of paralegals since opening our doors in 1987.Read More

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5 Ways LinkedIn Can Help Paralegals Land a Job

LinkedIn for Paralegals

What is LinkedIn?  LinkedIn is an interconnected network of experienced professionals from around the world.  You can find contacts, ask for recommendations or endorsements, and collaborate with qualified professionals in your network.   A professional network of contacts gives you an advantage in your career.  Optimize your LinkedIn profile for professional branding and job prospects.  If you don’t have a profile, create one as soon as possible.  You can cultivate connections by inviting trusted contacts to join LinkedIn and connect with you. There are many perks to creating a profile.  Here are 5 ways LinkedIn can help you create a professional brand, and possibly, land a job. 

Daring to Dream - Paralegal Student Brody Francois

Brody Francois - Paralegal

Brody Francois is a dreamer and he's chasing several of these at once. And one of his dreams - to become a paralegal - has just come true.

A Journey Through Center for Advanced Legal Studies

paralegal career path

Week One: It is the first week of Paralegal Studies at Center for Advanced Legal Studies. Six students are in a classroom looking up a specific case that Thomas Swanson, Academic Dean, has just recounted. His witty delivery and personal perspective has them intrigued. Some of the students have legal experience and training; others are just beginning their legal journey. But all are on their way to a rewarding career in law.

Many Ways to Paralegal

James Scheffer

There are many ways to become a paralegal. For James Scheffer, Director of Admissions at Center for Advanced Legal Studies, his role in the legal field came as something of a surprise. He had never even heard the term ‘paralegal’, but the United States’ Armed Forces provided the opportunity and a life-long vocation that began by chance. 

Five Tips for Managing Speaker's Anxiety

fear of public speaking

If you dread the mere thought of “public speaking,” you are among millions of individuals who feel the same way. Giving a speech ranks above snakes, death and financial ruin in the hierarchy of human fears. Furthermore, it doesn’t take a large audience to trigger panic. Just presenting material out loud to one person can set your heart pounding and your mouth feeling as dry as the Gobi Desert.

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Online Paralegal Certificate and Degree Programs - Live Classes!!

paralegal program director of distance education

Eric H. Happe
Director of Distance Education
Center for Advanced Legal Studies


Part 2:  Web Conferencing (Live Paralegal Classes)

This series addresses some technical issues important for anyone thinking about taking paralegal classes online. In Part 1 of this series, I discussed the importance of Learning Management Systems. I would like now to discuss the synchronous component of our online paralegal classes, Blackboard Collaborate.

Some may think of online or distance learning as completely asynchronous, meaning students and instructors access course content at different times and post assignments and updates periodically. This is indeed an effective and necessary component of distance learning, but unfortunately doesn't provide the synchronous or real-time component many enjoy and expect when taking classes.

Academic Dean's Commitment To Paralegal Students

Thomas B. Swanson, Paralegal Dean & Faculty



Thomas B. Swanson, J.D.

Academic Dean and Faculty

"Students realize that I'm committed to them entering the field and doing well..."


An Original Paralegal Instructor

Thomas Swanson is an original. He was the first teacher that the Center for Advanced Legal Studies hired 27 years ago and his crusty charm, self-effacing humor, and extensive knowledge of the law make him someone to impress and emulate for students and faculty alike.

An Original Paralegal

Born in Washington, D.C., Swanson served in the United States Air Force from 1971 to 1976 where he worked primarily as a paralegal. He received a Commendation Medal for his outstanding service as an investigator in the USAF Foreign Claims Commission in Taipei, Taiwan. After obtaining a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Florida,  he came to Houston, where he entered  the South Texas College of Law, graduating with a Doctorate of Jurisprudence. He was licensed as Texas attorney by the Supreme Court of Texas in May of 1981. After having worked for a number of years at an established Houston law firm, Swanson started his own firm in 1986.

6 Questions That Help Define Your Vision Of Becoming Paralegal

Paralegal.  What's Your Vision?

It's your life.  You have the starring role.  But what's your vision?  

Because you are reading this I'm guessing you are interested in being cast as a player in the legal professon. Maybe a leading role as a paralegal. But how do you decide? And, how do you get started?

Here are 6 questions that will help you define your vision.

1. If the world were your oyster and you could have any career, what would it be?
Don't ponder the answer for long.  What comes to your mind immediately? Steer clear of those intruding thoughts that begin telling you why it can't be done or that it's a silly idea. Asking yourself this question helps you clear away the clutter.  In keeping with our theme, it helps you audition in the right play and for the right role.

"The only thing worse than being blind is having NO VISION."

Learn How Paralegals Gain Leverage With Good Interviewing Skills

Paralegal - You Can Do This!

There is no doubt about it, attorneys often come to rely on their paralegals to conduct client interviews. In fact, most of the lists that outline the responsibilities of paralegals include 'conducting interviews'. The National Association of Legal Assistants - Paralegals and most other paralegal - related organizations place the following item at the top of their list:

  • Conduct client interviews and maintain general contact with the client, so long as the client is aware of the status and function of the legal assistant, and the legal assistant works under the supervision of the attorney.  

Having good, solid interviewing skills and technique is important and can help you gain leverage whether you are just starting out as a paralegal or have legal experience.  The ability to interview clients is valuable enough that many campus and online paralegal programs include an Interviewing and Investigation course.

Here are a few basic interviewing tips that will help you as you prepare for and advance your paralegal career. 

8 Things to Consider When Choosing a Paralegal Program

Choosing a Paralegal Program

There are specific reasons people choose to buy one product over another. 

Selection criteria might be made based on size, color, texture, fit, cost, what your girlfriend said or what your mother prefers.

There is a lot to consider. If you are going to be pleased with your purchase you want to enjoy what the product provides and be happy with the benefits, service, and results.

Choosing where to receive your paralegal education is no different. Size of classes, depth and breadth of courses, tuition, class structure, graduate success, and employer satisfaction all play into making the right choice.

Here are 8 things to consider when choosing the right paralegal program.

1.  Specialization. Today, people understand the importance of specialization.  Probably foremost from experiences with the medical field.  A more recent move to specialization has taken place in law firms. It makes sense; focus on a specific area to gain more knowledge, ability, and success.

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